Not only is Tanzania the number one destination for safaris, its endless coral reefs in the crystalline waters of the Indian Ocean offer some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world.
The archipelago of islands off the coast of Tanzania and Zanzibar are surrounded by coral reefs and are home to an amazing array of wildlife and unique ecosystems, as well as providing shelter, sustenance and employment for local people.
From Mafia Island Marine Park, an unspoiled, uncommercialised island, where local people go about their traditional businesses in a way (as far as one can tell) they have done for centuries, to Maziwe Island Marine Reserve, which only appears during low tide, Tanzania’s marine parks and reserves are exceptionally rich in their diversity of cultural, coral, fish, bird and plant life. In order to protect and manage these areas from over fishing, mangrove deforestation, and coral mining, the following marine parks and reserves have been established and can be visited for day trips and longer stays.
The Marine Parks and Reserves Authority was established under the Marine Parks an reserve Act Number 29 of 1994, to oversee the management and administration of marine parks and reserves to ensure sustainable use of the marine resources. The Marine Parks and Reserves Authority currently manages: a. Dar Marine Reserves – located in Dar es Salaam region. Four marine DSM reserves, Bongoyo Island Marine Reserve Mbudya Island Marine Reserve Pangavini Island Marine Reserve Funguyasini Marine Reserve b. Maziwi Island Marine Reserves – located in Pangani district (Tanga region). c. Mafia Island Marine Park – located in Coast Region. d. Mnazi Bay – Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park (MREMP) located in Mtwara Region. e. Transfrontier Conservation Area encompassing (TFCA) Southern Regions and areas bordering Lake Nyasa in the countries like Malawi and Zambia.